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August 25, 2017 5:08 pm

Trump Administration Reportedly Confirms $300 Million Annual US Funding of Palestinian Refugee Agency Will Continue

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Israel has frequently highlighted the promotion of anti-Israel propaganda in UNRWA-run schools. Photo: SWU.

Three months after indefinitely delaying the potential move of the US Embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem, President Donald Trump has retained another core policy of preceding administrations by promising that annual American funding of $300 million to a UN  agency that caters solely to Palestinian refugees will not be halted, Foreign Policy reported this week.

“Nikki Haley, the US ambassador to the United Nations, has privately assured the UN Relief and Works Agency, or UNRWA, that the United States, which provides more than $300 million to the agency each year, will maintain its current levels of funding to the organization,” the journal reported. “‘America has long been committed to funding UNRWA’s important mission, and that will continue,’ said one official at the U.S. mission to the United Nations.”

Foreign Policy noted that the US pledge runs “contrary to the administration’s push to rein in spending on UN relief programs elsewhere. It reflects growing concern that the imposition of sharp cuts to Palestinian relief programs could thwart the White House campaign to restart Middle East peace talks, and inject further political instability in a region that stands permanently perched on the brink of political upheaval.”

The decision also puts the US sharply at odds with the Israeli government. While Israel has historically recognized the stabilizing role played by UNRWA in providing key services to the 750,000 Palestinian refugees and their descendants — who now number around five million people — more recently, it has urged that the agency be dissolved into the office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), which caters to the remainder of the world’s current 65 million refugees.

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In June, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told a visiting Ambassador Haley that the time had come to “dismantle UNRWA and have its parts be integrated into the UN High Commission for Refugees,” after Israel discovered an underground tunnel beneath an UNRWA-run school in Gaza. Israel has long pointed to the consistent use of UNRWA schools and hospitals by Hamas terrorists in the coastal enclave as weapons depots, and in the process turning Palestinian civilians into human shields.

But Netanyahu’s proposal that UNRWA be taken over by UNHCR will face fierce rejection from the PLO and from Arab states. Unlike UNWRA, the UNHCR does not transfer refugee status to descendants. Should the Palestinians become UNHCR’s responsibility, Arab states and the PLO fear that would be the end of permanent refugee status for the Palestinians — and, in turn, the end of the PLO’s cornerstone “right of return” policy, which has provided a convenient alibi for the refusal of Arab states to integrate their Palestinian populations.

The US is not the only country pledging to continue UNRWA’s existence. On Thursday, the Canadian government announced that it will provide a further $25 million to the agency — prompting one Canadian Jewish organization to highlight the role played by UNRWA schools in normalizing antisemitic views of Jews and Israelis.

“Helping impoverished Palestinians in various Arab countries is certainly a positive, as many individuals do require assistance,” said Michael Mostyn, chief executive officer of B’nai Brith Canada. But, he went on to point out, “UNWRA continues to facilitate antisemitism and the demonization of Israel.”

“UNWRA’s highly-politicized environment actually obstructs the best possible service to the Palestinians,” Mostyn said.

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  • Messianic Fuzz

    Our own government gives to the UNRWA terrorist subsidy fund with you guessed it…our hard earned tax money! Very sickening.

  • tiki

    As long as the world will keep funding UNWRA nothing will change for Palestinian Arabs…..except the fabricated numbers of “Palestinian refugees”.

  • Pinchas Baram

    score another point against DJT by the holdover D of S at foggy bottom, D.C.

    and the embassy move, and Jonathan Pollard? fagetaboutit!

  • Michael

    Ho, hum. Yet another US President doing the Wiggle Waggle dance as money is once again used as a wedge to get Israel to conform to WH and state department (Oily Tillerson) “peace” initiatives that will not be in Israel’s best interest. While Trump and friends try to curry favor with wealthy ME oil interests, Israel will be pressured to commit suicide or at minimum, slip a noose around its own neck waiting for the Arabs to kick the box holding the agreed “deal” from underneath it.

    Money=Power= Control, the driving motivation of mankind’s territorial weasels and a core element of the dysfunctional human condition.

  • Phil Lesh Fan

    I wonder what kinds of threats President Trump has run into, which is causing his change of course on some issues. One should never underestimate the power and danger of The Left and the Deep State.

    Bummer for us all.

  • BUILD BABY BUILD!!!

    Shame on Trump claiming to be a friend to Israel while continuing paying these PA terrorists who use each US tax payers dollars to fund terror by paying the families of dead and living terrorists from OUR tax dollars.

    The PA murdered a US citizen as well Taylor Force and this is an abomination to everything decent America stands for.

    Shame and double added for lying about moving the US Embassy to Jerusalem which was approved by law in 1995 by US law makers.

    SHAME!!!

  • Patricia McGehee

    I will never understand this US Gov. If Palestinians did not spend so much money making weapons to fire on Israel or digging tunnels into Israel or teaching their kids to hate and kill Jews they would have the money needed to take care of their people. Instead the idiotic US Gov. gives them hard earned AMERICAN TAX PAYER money to continue their warfare on Israel.

    • Don’t forget they’ve killed Americans too such as at the Sbarro Pizza bombing, Our tax dollars are used to fund terrorism against ourselves.

  • Erica Ling

    “UNWRA continues to facilitate anti-Semitism and the demonization of Israel. ” Let’s give them $25 million more. What conclusions can Israel possibly draw from that ? And the hero on the white charger ? Now riding backwards on a donkey. Ah, progress.

  • thebigkohen

    As long as UNWRA exists there cannot be peace in this region

  • shloime
  • tiki

    It looks like the US presidents becomes a guest in his own White House administrations while others control his policies.

  • kcir321

    I don’t think Trump is in charge anymore

  • pinko77

    Well. Shabbat Shalom. So let’s see what the Trump administration has done for Israel. Our UN Ambassador has fought the good fight and has been forced to clear up Trump’s idiotic comments. Moving our embassy as promised? No. Helping Israel contain Iran and Hezbollah in Syria? No. Bibi had to fly off to Russia to try to make up for Trump’s foolish agreement with the Russians. Trump gives Neo Nazis a pass. Well he then said they were bad guys and then said there were good guys on their side. Huh? And Bibi? The great defender of the Jews? He’d rather stand by when the crazy Haredim decide to look under women’s garments to see if they actually brought Jewish materials to the Kotel. He’d rather kiss Trump’s ass and make a mockery of Jewish values. So the readers here prefer Neo Nazis to liberal Jews and leftwingers who are upset with Bibi? What message is Algemeiner pushing? Sad. So very sad. Trump, Bibi and Algemeiner- the holy trinity.

    • mastergame

      Liberal Jews are worse than the Arab scum.

  • More McMaster mind influence against Israel and pro Brotherhood!

  • Hillel

    Goes to show what they really think of us

  • The UN a parasitic organization for low life’s and blood suckers who defraud the world – Over the past 70 years, the UN has passed hundreds of biased non-binding resolutions against Israel and the Jewish people that have no affect at all, since UM resolutions are only a recommendation. Israel is a sovereign country and it must protect its people and sovereignty with all its resources, no matter what pressure the biased demoralized world puts on Israel. Stop the Ghetto mentality. NEVER AGAIN means no capitulation to world pressure and protecting our people at all costs.
    YJ Draiman

  • Citizenstat

    Bah!! Donald Trump has demonstrated that, like many other politician, he will promise whatever he thinks will get him elected, then ignores or tramples his pledges. Feh!!

  • Reb_Yaakov

    There is no ‘coastal enclave” near Israel. Why does this falsity have to be repeated ad infinitum?

  • James Joseph Bergquist

    Holy Hallelujah…. It’s just a slush fund without any accountability on how it is spent!!!
    What would happen if the IRS audited our own Government on how each and every penny is SPENT by the Palestinian Authorities…

    Simple… our Government would be charged with funding Terrorists!!!
    Holy, Holy, Holy Hallelujah!!!

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